Single Parent Spotlight: Nicky Booth

4th July 2015
The aim of these interviews is to show how AMAZING us working single parents are. 
I want to highlight how hard, but also how rewarding being a working single parent is, and to hear how other people in my position handle the tougher times, in the hopes I learn how to be the best parent I can be! 
I’m sick of seeing the bad press single parents get in the media, because some single parents have taken the choice to live off benefits, or even worse, have children in order to get benefits. We all seem to get tarred with the same negative brush!

My 25th interviewee is 28-year-old Nicky Booth, a full time volunteer for Single Parents Support Ltd from Hampshire who has a 3-year-old daughter.

How old were your
children when you became a single parent, and how did this come about? 

daughter was just 1 when I became a single parent as her dad and I went our
separate ways.

What things have you
found hardest as a single parent? 

Juggling all
the day to day things, money, housework, jobs, parenting etc, it’s hard work
but worth it. Its hard to be positive sometimes when people are always telling
you how to do this, you should be doing that, the terrible stigma that comes
with being a single parent, but we are all doing a fantastic job for our
children and should be very proud!

Nicky Booth from Single Parent Support
Nicky Booth
What are the benefits
to parenting alone, in your opinion? 

I do like that all the parenting decisions
are down to me, I don’t have to fight with anyone, compromise on important
issues etc, I feel my daughter and I will have a closer bond because it is just
me and her.

Have you faced any
negative judgements/stereotypes for being a single parent? If so can you share
with us what happened and how it made you feel? 

There is an awful lot of
negative stigma around being a single parent. The main issues are that we are
portrayed in the media as ‘benefit scroungers’. I did not wake up one day and
think you know what, I think I will become a single parent and rely on
benefits. My daughter was planned and wanted, unfortunately when the
relationship broke down I had to go on benefits to start with so I could
provide for her and sort out my finances and juggling childcare costs and
working etc. 

Also single mums seems to be portrayed far worse off and single
dads seem to be heroes, this is not the case – ALL single parents are heroes in my
eyes and all we ever do is try to make the best life for us and our children. 

It makes me very sad and makes me question myself when all this negative stuff
is all over the TV and social media but I spend a lot of time trying to make
people see a positive to their situations and how well we are doing, all single
mums and dads.

What sort of
relationship do you have with your ex, and how easy/difficult is it to maintain
for your child? 

I have no relationship with him at all. 

He doesn’t see my
daughter but I am awaiting the day she begins to ask questions and will answer
them as honestly as I can.

Does he pay
maintenance? If so, how did you come to an agreement on the amount? 

He does,
but not voluntarily and goes through all the loopholes there are in the CSA/CMS
system to pay as little as he can and when he feels like paying, there is no
set date or anything at the moment, he builds up arrears and pays a little bit
off here and there.

What’s your job, and
how many hours do you work per week? 

I work full time for single parents
support limited but this is a not for profit and all my time is given
voluntarily. I have a few side jobs that I do to keep the money coming in but
want single parents support to be my main job one day.

Who looks after your
child when you’re working? How do you feel about the current childcare

I work all my jobs around my daughter so on some she comes with
me and others I do whilst she is in nursery. Childcare is far too expensive at
the moment, but once my daughter starts school it will make life a little
easier on the working front.

How old was your
child when you first went back to work? How easy was it to adjust back into

Well I started SPSG in 2012 so my daughter was 1, I worked this around
her nap times, at night, and then she started nursery to could do it more, then
I started working part time as a cleaner at her nursery so I can do this with
her there, and then my nail business I do when she is in nursery or again in the
evenings once she is bed, I am still training in this position as well.

Have you ever felt
guilt by working? If so, why? 

I do feel guilty that sometimes I cant give her
my full attention all the time but I do like knowing she sees that mummy works
and gets paid and then she can have nice things, I’m showing her a work ethic.

What’s your view on
Child /Working Tax Credits, and the cost of childcare? 

Childcare is too
expensive and there should be more help for parents who are working under 16

What is your
work/home/social life like? Have you managed to find a good balance? If so,

Ummm this one I don’t really have a social life, but have a very good
circle of friends online who do meet up every now and then. Otherwise its
home, work and home again for me at the moment.

Are you dating again?
If so, how long did it take before you were ready to date again? 

I have tried
to date but unfortunately none of these have worked out yet, but watch this
space! It took me a long time to even go on a date as when you are a single
parent there is very little chance to do this and let alone find the time for
meeting anyone! Online dating is the easiest of options to look around to meet
someone but I don’t really like it personally. I would much rather just meet someone
and hit it off that way.

What tips do you have
for other single parents wanting to meet someone? 

Don’t rush it, the time will
be right. Make sure you are safe if you are online dating. Love yourself first
and the rest will follow!

What would your top 3
tips be to a newbie single parent? 

Look after yourself as you need to be at
your best to look after your children. 

Don’t put too much pressure on
yourself, there is support and advice out there and great friends to be made. 

Enjoy your children, they grow up way too fast and you don’t want to miss it,
if you are feeling low etc ask for help.

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  • thesingleswan

    5th July 2015 at 9:18 am

    Hi, thank you for doing these interviews. I am a newly single mum and I really enjoy reading them. Single mums really do come in all shapes and sizes. We are all so very different but the challenges we face are very similar. Thanks and I am looking forward to the next interview.

    1. Claire

      26th July 2015 at 8:21 am

      Glad to hear you like these! There are quite a few already on here if you look at the category list and select Single Parent Spotlight they will all appear!

  • A New Single Parent Support Website – Single Parent Pessimist

    15th June 2020 at 11:12 am

    […] site was created by Nicky Booth who became a single parent four years ago when her daughter was 12 months old. She originally set […]

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